This episode of EuropeChats is a discussion between Jim Cloos, TEPSA Secretary-General and former Director General for General and Institutional Policy at the General Secretariat of the Council, and TEPSA Executive Director Mariam Khotenashvili. The discussion focuses on a topic which comes around every six months in EU affairs: the Rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Rotating Presidency is system whereby each of the 27 EU Member States takes turns in chairing various formations of the Council of the European Union. Each Presidency lasts six months and always has its own priorities. The system is a way for Member States to each hold the reins of a key EU Institution on an equal basis, and the Presidency plays a key role in many of the legislative achievements of the European Union.
In particular this episode is a discussion on the history, role, and relevance of the Rotating Presidency, drawing on Jim Cloos’ longstanding involvement in Presidencies, first as a Luxembourgish diplomat, then as a European diplomat. Together, Mariam and Jim explore the support each Presidency gets from the General Secretariat of the Council, what challenges Presidencies may face, what opportunities they have to make a difference, and they try to answer a key question: what makes a good Rotating Presidency?
Spain has just taken the reins of the Rotating Presidency from Sweden. For the coming six months, the new Presidency will have to tackle a number of challenges both at the national and European elections, not the least of which is a national election in Spain set for July 23. TEPSA has been working hard to give concrete recommendations to the Spanish Presidency, via the holding of a Pre-Presidency Conference in Madrid at the start of June, and via the presentation of a set of policy recommendations in various areas. To learn more about the Recommendations from Members of the TEPSA Network to the Spanish Presidency, click here.
EuropeChats is TEPSA’s talk show dedicated to answering your questions about the European Union. If you ever wondered what competences the EU has, what effects its policies have on your day-to-day life, and why the EU is so important, then this show will give you all the answers you need! Every episode we will be answering your questions about Europe and the EU.
Jim Cloos is TEPSA’s Secretary-General, and has spent a lifetime in the heart of Brussels. As the former Deputy Director General for General and Institutional Policy at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, he was involved in European decision-making at every level. He had a key role in drafting the Maastricht Treaty during the Luxembourgish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 1991, and has an intricate expertise on EU Affairs and the internal functioning of the European institutions. There is no-one better placed to answer any question about Europe that you might have.
Mariam Khotenashvili is TEPSA’s Executive Director. Her background combines research coordination, policy advocacy, project management and academic work. Her fields of expertise include EU foreign and development policies and in particular the European Neighbourhood Policy. Mariam is your direct line into the European bubble.